noun, often attributive
\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a natural luminous body visible in the sky especially at night
b : a self-luminous gaseous spheroidal celestial body of great mass which produces energy by means of nuclear fusion reactions
2a(1) : a planet or a configuration of the planets that is held in astrology to influence one's destiny or fortune usually used in plural
(2) : a waxing or waning fortune or fame her star was rising
b obsolete : destiny
3a : a conventional figure with five or more points that represents a star especially : asterisk
b : an often star-shaped ornament or medal worn as a badge of honor, authority, or rank or as the insignia of an order
c : one of a group of conventional stars used to place something in a scale of value
4 : something resembling a star was hit on the head and saw stars
5a : the principal member of a theatrical or operatic company who usually plays the chief roles
b : a highly publicized theatrical or motion-picture performer
c : an outstandingly talented performer a track star
d : a person who is preeminent in a particular field


starred; starring; stars

Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1a intransitive : to play the most prominent or important role in a movie, play, etc. an actor currently starring in a hit Broadway show She had a starring role in his latest film.(figurative) Tequila and blood oranges star in this Margarita, which gets a spicy kick from homemade jalapeño syrup.— Natalie Migliarini
b transitive : to feature (a performer) in the most prominent or important role a movie that stars a famous stage personality
2 intransitive : to perform outstandingly In the fall of 1925, Elkins starred on the gridiron …— Bil Gilbert [Alan] Trammell, who starred for the Tigers at shortstop during the glory days of the 1980s …— Jeff Bradley
3 transitive
a : to mark with a star as being superior or preeminent in some way a monument starred in the guidebook a starred review
b : to mark with an asterisk
4 transitive : to sprinkle or adorn with or as if with stars … meadows starred with buttercups and daisies.— Kenneth Roberts



Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or being a star received star billing
2 : of outstanding excellence : preeminent a star athlete

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Other Words from star


starless \ ˈstär-​ləs How to pronounce star (audio) \ adjective
starlike \ ˈstär-​ˌlīk How to pronounce star (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for star

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

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Examples of star in a Sentence

Noun They gazed up at the stars. There are billions of stars in the universe. I'm glad we didn't use the tent. It's so much nicer to sleep outside under the stars. The restaurant was awarded four stars for excellence. Critics give the movie three stars. Verb The new television series stars a famous movie actress. a concert starring some of the biggest names in the business He starred in both baseball and football when he was in college. She starred for the basketball team last year. This restaurant is starred in the guidebook. Adjective looking for star actors to play the leads
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Name one all-star among the Diamondbacks Everyday Eight. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's Morning Line: The Cincinnati Reds are better than they've played," 26 Apr. 2021 Jones is just one star involved in Weiser’s project., "On the pages of his dad’s book, ‘The Boy Who Wanted to Rock’ gets his wish," 26 Apr. 2021 The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Guajardo was a three-star recruit out of Dearborn. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football loses four more players to the NCAA transfer portal," 26 Apr. 2021 Originally from Newnan, Ga., Kessler was a five-star prospect that Auburn targeted seriously. Giana Han, al, "Auburn signs UNC transfer Walker Kessler," 26 Apr. 2021 The Memphis Grizzlies will get one star back Sunday but lose another for Round 2 against the Portland Trail Blazers. oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers vs. Memphis Grizzlies: Live updates, time, TV channel, how to watch free live stream online," 25 Apr. 2021 As a recruit out of Blue Valley North, McCullough was rated as a three-star athlete. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "Family affair: Miami (Ohio) DB Deland McCullough II transferring to IU," 25 Apr. 2021 The former five-star recruit is a relentless pass rusher who produced eight sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in 10 games as a Hurricane. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2021 NFL Draft: Top edge rushers," 25 Apr. 2021 More:Louisville football lands three-star quarterback with first commitment of the 2022 class Turner, in his three years at Southern Miss, tallied 100 tackles, 31.5 tackles for a loss and 15 sacks. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville picks up a commitment from Southern Mississippi defensive lineman transfer," 25 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Tzi Ma, Kheng Hua Tan, Jon Prasida and Tony Chung also star. Los Angeles Times, "What’s on TV Wednesday: President Biden addresses Congress," 27 Apr. 2021 Emily VanCamp, Daniel Bruhl, and Erin Kellyman also star. Nick Romano,, "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier soars to become the biggest Disney+ debut yet," 15 Apr. 2021 Timberlake is attached to star as Barris, who claimed in the book to have been an assassin for the CIA. Tyler Aquilina,, "Justin Timberlake to play game show host, alleged CIA assassin Chuck Barris in Apple TV+ series," 10 Apr. 2021 The story follows her journey from young poet to star of the inauguration and beyond. Fortune, "How adding women executives alters ‘C-Suite thinking’," 8 Apr. 2021 In 1948, The Sign of The Ram made Susan Peters the first actress and wheelchair user to star in a mainstream Hollywood thriller. Anne Cohen,, "Run’s Kiera Allen Is An Action Star Like You’ve Never Seen Before," 1 Apr. 2021 According to Variety, the True Detective actor is attached to star in HBO’s potential adaptation of the novel’s second sequel, currently in development at the network. Halle Kiefer, Vulture, "Matthew McConaughey Has Time to Kill for HBO Limited Series, Now In Development," 18 Mar. 2021 Billie Eilish went from award-winning newcomer to star of her own documentary, and Taylor Swift released not one but two albums. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Grammys 2021 Red Carpet: Here Are the Best-Dressed Stars," 14 Mar. 2021 Hammer was originally attached to star in the project as White House Counsel John Dean, per Deadline. Nicholas Rice,, "Armie Hammer's Role to Be Recast in Watergate Series Gaslit Starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn," 22 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Kim’s co-star Steven Yeun, who could potentially be the first Asian American to win Best Actor, wore black and white as well. Jennifer Zhan, Vulture, "Responsible Angel Alan Kim Walked His Dog Before the Oscars," 25 Apr. 2021 Amita is only 4 months older than fellow co-star Archie. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Here Are the Real Ages of the Cast of "Shadow and Bone"," 24 Apr. 2021 The Dodgers' World Series run was nearly disrupted by a Covid-19 outbreak when star third baseman Justin Turner was pulled mid-game in Game 6 of the World Series. Scottie Andrew And Homero De La Fuente, CNN, "The Los Angeles Dodgers, other California teams debut fully vaccinated seating section for home games," 24 Apr. 2021 There was Mainland chatter on a star mutual fund manager raising his exposure to liquor stocks. Brendan Ahern, Forbes, "Meituan Moves As Hong Kong Pauses," 20 Apr. 2021 Method Man had the most star potential out of the Wu-Tang Clan in part because of his softer side. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, "200 greatest hip-hop songs of all time," 13 Apr. 2021 During Selling Sunset season one, Mary Fitzgerald helped actor Taye Diggs (who is also co-star Amanza Smith's ex) find a new home. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Will French Montana Appear on Netflix's "Selling Sunset?" Mary Fitzgerald Discusses His Potential Role," 15 Apr. 2021 The Blazers moved on when Aldridge left, thrusting Lillard into the limelight and elevating CJ McCollum into the co-star role, and the duo remains the bedrock of the franchise. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Remembering LaMarcus Aldridge’s guarded but steady legacy with the Portland Trail Blazers," 15 Apr. 2021 Davis and McDormand have the possible disadvantage of having recently won Oscars, and Davis’s co-star Chadwick Boseman is all but a lock for Best Actor, possibly giving voters a reason not to reward both. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Oscars Spotlight: The Unusually Wide-Open Actress Races," 15 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'star.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of star


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 4


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for star


Middle English sterre, from Old English steorra; akin to Old High German sterno star, Latin stella, Greek astēr, astron

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Time Traveler for star

Time Traveler

The first known use of star was before the 12th century

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Statistics for star

Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Star.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for star



English Language Learners Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any one of the objects in space that are made of burning gas and that look like points of light in the night sky
: a star or planet especially in a certain position that is believed in astrology to influence people's lives
: something (such as a symbol or medal) with five or more points that represents or suggests a star



English Language Learners Definition of star (Entry 2 of 2)

: to play the most important role in a movie, play, etc.
: to have (someone) as the most important performer
: to perform extremely well


\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Kids Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : any of the heavenly bodies except planets which are visible at night and look like fixed points of light
2 : a figure or object with five or more points that represents or suggests a star in the sky
3 : a very talented or popular performer a movie star
4 : a planet that is believed in astrology to influence someone's life She was born under a lucky star.
5 : the principal member of a theater or opera company


starred; starring

Kids Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to mark with a star or an asterisk as being special or very good
2 : to present in the role of a star The show stars my favorite actor.
3 : to play the most important role She will star in a new play.
4 : to perform in an outstanding manner She starred in soccer this season.



Kids Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : being favored or very popular the teacher's star pupil a star athlete
2 : being of outstanding excellence a star chef

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